LORIN BENEDICT & SAM OSPOVAT – Passwords

Self-release

Lorin Benedict: vocals; Sam Ospovat: drums and percussion.

Benedict’s monstrously entangled yet – quite preposterously – naturally flowing scat singing finds a terrific counterpart in Ospovat’s cognition of the most proverbial jazz dialects, their duet spiced by elements of on-the-spot creativity adding measures of humorous volatility to the formula. The partnership took its shape gradually, having the couple previously been a part of short-lived BlenderHead. There’s much to relish in terms of constructive antithesis between percussive propulsion and fecund vocal phraseology, especially in virtue of Benedict’s totally idiosyncratic jargon (in case you haven’t met his art yet, the guy smokes: move over, Manhattan Transfer, after you hear the adaptation of “I’ll Remember April” contained herein). And yet, the associates also discover ways to larger spaces, with superb results: the beginning of “Schu-Schu” sees them in a bowed vibes-vs-voice milieu whose level of subtlety is substantiated by the consequent developments, more in tune with scattered kinds of swing replete with changes of accent and sudden turns dictated by Ospovat’s gorgeous snare sound. On the other hand, “t5G&0p@” (that’s right – a password) is rather mystifying, almost creepy-crawly, though one can’t possibly be scared by LB’s narrative; I perceive his way of doing things here – a mix of broken robot phonation and technically grounded placidity – as super funny, with that communicative deadpan-ness. Whatever. Two outstanding musicians who know what they’re into from the first minute to the last.

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